Words at War was a 30 minute dramatic anthology series dealing with stories condensed from books written about World War II. The series started in the middle of the war and at the most crucial time of the war for the allies, somewhat heightening its debut. Not only that, it was supported by Johnson's Wax in the Fibber McGee and Molly time slot as Jim and Marian Jordan went on vacation. And if that wasn't enough, the music for the series was done by NBC's own Frank Black, a master at orchestration and the shows were often directed by Anton M. Leder of Suspense fame. Adding to all of that is the fact that most - if not all - of the series is available today for our listening pleasure and the sound is above average.
Done in a docu-drama style with Black's music as the background gave often stark, sobering realism to these stories penned by different authors. While not all of the shows are winners, many are far above average and many remind me of the writing of Arch Oboloer. Not that these plays are anti-war (just the opposite) but most of these stories pack a powerful, though-provoking wallop, especially when dealing with subjects that are hard to comprehend, like the taking of innocent civilian lives. As Billboard Magazine wrote in 1943, "Muddled, cloying ideas of war romantics were washed away in a clean sweep." No truer words can be spoken about some of these dramas.
With anthologies you often have some good and some bad because each author has his own strengths and weaknesses. However, all seem to have a quality worthy of this fine radio series.
- Jimbo (c) 2010
From the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. See "Notes" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.
This is the Single Episodes Page. The Certified Set includes extras not found here. It is located at OTRR Certified Set. This Single Episodes page is provided in case you want to sample the shows.Note that in many cases, file names have been modified from the original OTRR names to conform to archive.org naming requirements.
If you are interested in preserving Old Time Radio (OTR), you may wish to join the Old Time Radio Researchers Group at Facebook and Groups.io.
Relax, listen, and enjoy!
OTRR Maintained Set -- This set contains all known episodes in the best available audio condition with the most accurate dates and titles known to be in general circulation and based on current research at the time of release. Replaces OTRR Certified Accurate and OTRR Certified Complete.
OTRR Non-Maintained Set -- A collection of shows that has not gone through the OTRR Maintenance process.
Pre-2019 OTRR Definitions:
OTRR Certified Accurate -- A series that was "Certified Accurate" indicated that all the episodes were properly identified and labeled based on current information but that the series did not contain all known extant episodes.
OTRR Certified Complete -- A series that was "Certified Complete" achieved the highest level of certification available under the OTRR Certified Standards. This certification level implied that all the files in the series were "Certified Accurate" and also indicated that the series was as complete as possible and included all circulating episodes.
OTRR Non-Certified -- A collection of shows that has not gone through the OTRR Certification process.
Also, beginning in 2019, the version numbers of our OTRR releases changed format -- instead of v1.0 or v2.1, we are now using a version number that reflects the year and month the set was released. The format used is a two-digit year followed by a two-digit month. For example, "v1906" indicates a set that was released in June 2019, or "v1910" indicates a set released in October 2019.
NOTE: There are no passwords for any of our ZIP files. If you are prompted for a password, before downloading the file again, try unzipping the file into a shorter full folder path name -- for example, unzip to "C:\" instead of "C:\Documents and Settings\your_Windows_ID\some_other_folder\". Sorry, some of our releases contain long folder and file names, which sometimes manifests itself on the Windows platform as prompting for a password for the ZIP file. Or try renaming the ZIP file itself to a shorter name before unzipping.